INCLUDE_DATA Blog for the Alken D2 and Sonett 3

Day 5 – Wednesday February 18

Posted in Sonett III by Administrator on the February 20th, 2009

The prior owner, Perry, indicated that something with the clutch system did not work. Having a TR6 before, I had an idea it was the hydraulics. The Sonett uses a hydraulic clutch like the Triumphs. No cables here. Much like a brake system, there is a master and a slave cylinder connected by piping. The slave is mounted right on the tranmission to move the clutch fork. Our lines looked to be OK but there was a lot of white aluminum corrosion under the boots which is not a good design. The clutch reservoir was also empty. So, we purchased a new slave cylinder for the clutch from Skandix for $98. We’ll pull the clutch master tomorrow to see what we have.

It seems that the clutch master cylinder is the hardest item to find. It is only second to finding a master cylinder. When these components wear, experts like Ashcraft/Lamb/Scandix can take the unit and rebuild it. They will bore out the cylinder and then resleave it before using a new rubber seal kit. Do not hone cylinders as it will just enlarge the bore and your rebuild will not last long. A re-sleaved unit will set you back $200 to $400 if your core is rebuildable. Don’t you want to be able to stop and go after spending all this time and money on your Sonett?

It seems that our brake master cylinder is ok. No leaks, reservoir bottle had fluid in it. However, our flexible rubber hoses turned into check valves. When you press the brake the fluid goes out but does not come back. The rubber lines swell over time and must be replaced. I used the PartGeek for most of these items. Back rubber lines seemed harder to find.

We ordered new rear wheel cylinders and brakes too. For the front we went with new rotors even though ours were fine they were rusty and most likely needed a fine cut. We will keep them as spares. Even though the calipers seemed OK (no leaks) we bought the kit with the pistons ($40 ea) and new pads to assure nice smooth stopping power. Later we will see how hard these are to rebuild.

While Adam was at school I took one brake hose off. It was swelled shut. What a pain to take off. The metal line came off the master cylinder and hose OK (I used a line wrench so nothing got rounded off). However, gett the hose off the inner fender was a treat, one freaking click at a time on the ratchet took about 10 minutes. I see lots of this in our future.

Next I crawled until the rear, well kind of peaked in from the side, to see why these rear hoses are so hard to find. Didn’t look special at all. I’m just guessing most people don’t realize these go bad and therefore don’t have any rear brakes. We’ll see how hard these are to take off. Looks like they enter the cabin. Had to go to Skandix to get these. We’ll put up a parts list when Adam get done play “Tour of Duty”.

After removing all of the hoses we decided to figure out if we could put them all back on. We drew up a water diagram to understand the water flow in the Sonett. Below is a picture.

It appears that when the car is warming up and the thermostat is closed, not water flows unless the cabin thermostat is opened for heat. Then water would flow below the thermostat and through the cabin heater. Since the water pump is turning this water would flow back into the block.

I’m not 100% sure buy I don’t think the choke would start to heat. It would need water from the heater to pass into it and that is not the normal flow. Hot water is to come out of the thermostat and divide back to the water pump and also divert a small amount through the choke heater (at least that is how I see it).

One drawing in the manual show that on top of the block that holds the thermostat is a screw. This screw can be removed to bleed air out of the engine.

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